September Study Reading Plans 2018

For weeks I have been feeing the back to school vibes. It is my favourite time of the year! The birth month of our Saviour! September is probably my favourite month of the year which is odd because with November being my birthday month you would think that that was my favourite month of the year.

Over the summer I finished part one of at least a three part Bible study project I ambitiously decided to start almost a year and a half ago! I am not quite ready to talk much about it in depth yet but maybe by this time next year. Getting that first part and probably the hardest part finally done felt brilliant, a personal achievement and a thank you gift back to God. It feels as if I am incapable of following through on projects and ideas unless they are God related which is interesting to me. I know my personal record of starting things and not finishing them so seeing the growing record of God related projects that I am completing is a real morale booster and further proof of His power and presence to me in my life. His Spirit sustains me far longer than I would stick it out alone, not that we are ever alone but you know.. it is different when you do something with permission and blessing compared to just doing something by your own steam from your own interest.

I am taking a break from that project before I start part two and taking up another possibly equally ambitious project – this month’s study reading list!

I have really been enjoying the readings from The Daily Bible in Chronological Order (NIV) by F Legard Smith recommended by David Pawson in his Unlocking the Bible series so I want to continue to read that every morning. I credit finding and using a readers translation without chapter and verse (ESV) several years ago and reading in chronological order for really helping me to mature in my faith, enjoy Scripture, understand it, apply it practically and want to stay and walk in it.
September picks up from where we left off in Ezekiel and has readings from Daniel, Jeremiah, Job, Psalms, Haggai and Zechariah. I am also trying to incorporate more Puritan literature into my studying so I have The Puritan Daily Readings by Randall J Pederson who co-authored Meet the Puritans, by another Bible teacher I like, Dr Joel Beeke, I would also recommend Bible believers read. This month it is focusing on the Puritan John Owen and his theme is Communion with God.
Then feeling that I need to focus on the human story, because my empathy and compassion really needs an improvement/upgrade right now, and in particular Biblical women I will be working my way through Women of the Bible a One Year Devotional Study by Ann Spangler and Jean E Syswerda. Focusing on Eve, Sarah, Hagar and Lot’’s wife.

For the last two years I have been going off and on to the Women’s Bible study group at church but with ill-health and life in general it has been more off than on and I still feel the need to connect with these women who can teach me so much about Godliness, holiness and femininity. I will see what I can glean with the Spirit’s help and God willing I can attend the group meetings again in the future.

What does your September study  reading list look like?

The Spirit of the Psalms: Whom Should We Love Like Thee (Psalm 18)

God willing every Monday I will post a hymn, psalm or spiritual song for encouragement. They say we learn our doctrine through singing which aids in memorisation but I know from my own experience that I tend to focus more on the tune than the words, especially if I am more familiar with the song. So I thought why not take some devotional time every week to really look at the lyrics and the poetry of a spiritual song alongside the Scriptural passages that inspired it.

The Spirit of the Psalms
Psalm 18

Whom should we love like Thee,
Our God, our Guide, our King,
The tower to which we flee,
The rock to which we cling?
O for a worthy tongue to show
The countless mercies that we owe.

The storm upon us fell,
The floods around us rose;
The depths of death and hell
Seemed on our souls to close;
To God we cried in strong despair,
He heard, and came to help our prayer.

He came, the King of Kings,
He cleaved the darkened sky;
And on the tempest’s wings
Rode glorious down from high;
The earth before her Maker shook,
The mountains quaked at His rebuke.

Above the storm He stood,
And awed it to repose;
He drew us from the flood,
And scattered all our foes;
He set us in a spacious place,
And there upholds us by His grace.

Whom should we love like Thee,
Our God, our Guide, our King,
The tower to which we flee,
The rock to which we cling?
O for a worthy tongue to show
The countless mercies that we owe.
Henry Francis Lyte 1793-1847
From ‘Psalms and Hymns of Reformed Worship’ Hymnbook.

I love you, LORD;
you are my strength.
The LORD is my rock, my fortress, and my saviour;
my God is my rock, in whom I find protection.
He is my shield, the power that saves me,
and my place of safety.
I called on the LORD, who is worthy of praise,
and he saved me from my enemies.
The ropes of death entangled me;
floods of destruction swept over me.
The grave. wrapped its ropes around me;
death laid a trap in my path.
But in my distress I cried out to the LORD;
yes, I prayed to my God for help.
He heard me from his sanctuary;
my cry to him reached his ears.
Then the earth quaked and trembled.
The foundations of the mountains shook;
they quaked because of his anger.
Smoke poured from his nostrils;
fierce flames leaped from his mouth.
Glowing coals blazed forth from him.
He opened the heavens and came down;
dark storm clouds were beneath his feet.
Mounted on a mighty angelic being, he flew,
soaring on the wings of the wind.
He shrouded himself in darkness,
veiling his approach with dark rain clouds.
Thick clouds shielded the brightness around him
and rained down hail and burning coals.c
The LORD thundered from heaven;
the voice of the Most High resounded
amid the hail and burning coals.
He shot his arrows and scattered his enemies;
his lightning flashed, and they were greatly confused.
Then at your command, O LORD,
at the blast of your breath,
the bottom of the sea could be seen,
and the foundations of the earth were laid bare.
He reached down from heaven and rescued me;
he drew me out of deep waters.
He rescued me from my powerful enemies,
from those who hated me and were too strong for me.
They attacked me at a moment when I was in distress,
but the LORD supported me.
He led me to a place of safety;
he rescued me because he delights in me.
The LORD rewarded me for doing right;
he restored me because of my innocence.
For I have kept the ways of the LORD;
I have not turned from my God to follow evil.
I have followed all his regulations;
I have never abandoned his decrees.
I am blameless before God;
I have kept myself from sin.
The LORD rewarded me for doing right.
He has seen my innocence.
To the faithful you show yourself faithful;
to those with integrity you show integrity.
To the pure you show yourself pure,
but to the wicked you show yourself hostile.
You rescue the humble,
but you humiliate the proud.
You light a lamp for me.
The LORD, my God, lights up my darkness.
In your strength I can crush an army;
with my God I can scale any wall.
God’s way is perfect.
All the LORD’s promises prove true.
He is a shield for all who look to him for protection.
For who is God except the LORD?
Who but our God is a solid rock?
God arms me with strength,
and he makes my way perfect.
He makes me as surefooted as a deer,
enabling me to stand on mountain heights.
He trains my hands for battle;
he strengthens my arm to draw a bronze bow.
You have given me your shield of victory.
Your right hand supports me;
your help has made me great.
You have made a wide path for my feet
to keep them from slipping.
I chased my enemies and caught them;
I did not stop until they were conquered.
I struck them down so they could not get up;
they fell beneath my feet.
You have armed me with strength for the battle;
you have subdued my enemies under my feet.
You placed my foot on their necks.
I have destroyed all who hated me.
They called for help, but no one came to their rescue.
They even cried to the LORD, but he refused to answer.
I ground them as fine as dust in the wind.
I swept them into the gutter like dirt.
You gave me victory over my accusers.
You appointed me ruler over nations;
people I don’t even know now serve me.
As soon as they hear of me, they submit;
foreign nations cringe before me.
They all lose their courage
and come trembling from their strongholds.
The LORD lives! Praise to my Rock!
May the God of my salvation be exalted!
He is the God who pays back those who harm me;
he subdues the nations under me
and rescues me from my enemies.
You hold me safe beyond the reach of my enemies;
you save me from violent opponents.
For this, O LORD, I will praise you among the nations;
I will sing praises to your name.
You give great victories to your king;
you show unfailing love to your anointed,
to David and all his descendants forever.
New Living Translation (NLT)

The Spirit of the Psalms: What Sinners Value I Resign (Psalm 17)

God willing every Monday I will post a hymn, psalm or spiritual song for encouragement. They say we learn our doctrine through singing which aids in memorisation but I know from my own experience that I tend to focus more on the tune than the words, especially if I am more familiar with the song. So I thought why not take some devotional time every week to really look at the lyrics and the poetry of a spiritual song alongside the Scriptural passages that inspired it.

The Spirit of the Psalms
Psalm 17 Version 2

What sinners value, I resign:
Lord, ’tis enough that Thou are mine;
I shall behold Thy blissful face,
And stand complete in righteousness.

Life is a dream, an empty show;
But that bright world to which I go
Has joys substantial and sincere;
When shall wake in wonder there?

O glorious hour! O blest abode!
I shall be near and like my God;
And flesh and sin no more control
The sacred pleasures of my soul.

My flesh shall slumber in the ground,
Till the last trumpet’s joyful sound,
Then burst its chains with sweet surprise,
And in my Saviour’s image rise.
Isaac Watts 1674-1748
From ‘Psalms and Hymns of Reformed Worship’ Hymnbook.

O LORD, hear my plea for justice.
Listen to my cry for help.
Pay attention to my prayer,
for it comes from honest lips.
Declare me innocent,
for you see those who do right.
You have tested my thoughts and examined my heart in the night.
You have scrutinised me and found nothing wrong.
I am determined not to sin in what I say.
I have followed your commands,
which keep me from following cruel and evil people.
My steps have stayed on your path;
I have not wavered from following you.
I am praying to you because I know you will answer, O God.
Bend down and listen as I pray.
Show me your unfailing love in wonderful ways.
By your mighty power you rescue
those who seek refuge from their enemies.
Guard me as you would guard your own eyes.a
Hide me in the shadow of your wings.
Protect me from wicked people who attack me,
from murderous enemies who surround me.
They are without pity.
Listen to their boasting!
They track me down and surround me,
watching for the chance to throw me to the ground.
They are like hungry lions, eager to tear me apart—
like young lions hiding in ambush.
Arise, O LORD!
Stand against them, and bring them to their knees!
Rescue me from the wicked with your sword!
By the power of your hand, O LORD,
destroy those who look to this world for their reward.
But satisfy the hunger of your treasured ones.
May their children have plenty,
leaving an inheritance for their descendants.
Because I am righteous, I will see you.
When I awake, I will see you face to face and be satisfied.
New Living Translation (NLT)

The Spirit of the Psalms: Hear O My Lord Regard My Cry (Psalm 17)

God willing every Monday I will post a hymn, psalm or spiritual song for encouragement. They say we learn our doctrine through singing which aids in memorisation but I know from my own experience that I tend to focus more on the tune than the words, especially if I am more familiar with the song. So I thought why not take some devotional time every week to really look at the lyrics and the poetry of a spiritual song alongside the Scriptural passages that inspired it.

The Spirit of the Psalms
Psalm 17 Version 1

Hear, O my Lord, regard my cry,
My prayer from lips sincere;
Send Thine approval from on high,
To make my standing clear;
And, greatly as my heart is tried,
O may I not have turned aside.

Lord, I resolve with firm desire
No wrong to speak or do;
Thy path alone I choose for mine, To walk with purpose true;
I cry for help, O Lord, to Thee, Assured that Thou wilt answer me.

O keep me, Lord, may I be found
The apple of Thine eye;
With deadly foes arrayed around
To Thee alone I cry;
My only trust and refuge be;
Ang let Thy wings o’ershadow me.

Guard me from those whose joy and pride
And portion is below;
Who, with life’s treasures satisfied,
No better purpose know;
Who, with earth’s stores of wealth content,
Must leave them all when life is spent.

When clothed in righteousness at last,
Thy glorious face I see,
When all this weary night is past,
And I awake with Thee
To view the glories that abide,
Then how I shall be satisfied!
The Psalter 1912
From ‘Psalms and Hymns of Reformed Worship’ Hymnbook.

O LORD, hear my plea for justice.
Listen to my cry for help.
Pay attention to my prayer,
for it comes from honest lips.
Declare me innocent,
for you see those who do right.
You have tested my thoughts and examined my heart in the night.
You have scrutinised me and found nothing wrong.
I am determined not to sin in what I say.
I have followed your commands,
which keep me from following cruel and evil people.
My steps have stayed on your path;
I have not wavered from following you.
I am praying to you because I know you will answer, O God.
Bend down and listen as I pray.
Show me your unfailing love in wonderful ways.
By your mighty power you rescue
those who seek refuge from their enemies.
Guard me as you would guard your own eyes.a
Hide me in the shadow of your wings.
Protect me from wicked people who attack me,
from murderous enemies who surround me.
They are without pity.
Listen to their boasting!
They track me down and surround me,
watching for the chance to throw me to the ground.
They are like hungry lions, eager to tear me apart—
like young lions hiding in ambush.
Arise, O LORD!
Stand against them, and bring them to their knees!
Rescue me from the wicked with your sword!
By the power of your hand, O LORD,
destroy those who look to this world for their reward.
But satisfy the hunger of your treasured ones.
May their children have plenty,
leaving an inheritance for their descendants.
Because I am righteous, I will see you.
When I awake, I will see you face to face and be satisfied.
New Living Translation (NLT)